Hello friends. I have received a lot of interest via e-mail in the exciting 2010 vintage from the Southern Rhone, so I have been tasting as broadly as possible. I think we’ve hit on a winner today: a lovely, old-school, typical Chateauneuf from a tiny producer in the northern part of the appellation.
The sale of Wine Advocate last week affords an opportunity to reflect on Robert Parker’s influence, both positive and negative. It’s hard to avoid connecting him with the changing styles in Chateauneuf over the past decade or two, especially as alcohols in warmer vintages approach 17% from some CdP producers.
Still, I think Parker’s love of ripeness can be overstated. Here is RP himself on today’s producer, who crafts a 13%-alc CdP: “[TEXT WITHHELD].”
We are indeed at the northern edge of the appellation (location here), where the Chaussy siblings harvest Grenache et al from the stony soils of the southern Rhone. The blend for this cuvee is 80% Grenache, 15% Mourvedre, and 5% Syrah, and it is raised half in cement and half in foudre. It displays gorgeous, openly expressive Grenache aromas: raspberry pastille, herbs from the Provence countryside, white pepper, candied violet. It’s a showy, penetrating nose. The palate is well-balanced, not at all boozy, with a cut-rock core around which swirl streaks of dusty red fruit.
Now I’ll let the critics weigh in, including our first chance to quote the inimitable Jancis Robinson. The last sentence of her review might be the best phrase I have ever read in a wine review:
Wine Spectator (James Molesworth): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 93pts.”
The Rhone Report (Jeb Dunnuck): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 93pts.”
Purple Pages (Jancis Robinson): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 17/20pts.”
Please limit order requests to 12 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine should arrive on Wednesday and be available for pickup during our final TPU days of 2012 (or later, of course) or shipping during the spring shipping window.